7 km south east of Skibbereen on the seashore along Castlehaven inlet.

Site Description

Located on the eastern side of Castlehaven harbour the site is on a steep slope reaching right down to the sea. During the battle of Trafalgar the British took shelter in this inlet. To commemorate this, a monument to Nelson was erected on nearby Casltetownsend  hilltop. As one approaches the wood the narrow road passes Rineen pier and corn mill (now converted to a restaurant) and around the little bay to the forest car park. This corn mill was the first with modern machinery in the Barony of Carbery.

Rineen wood formed part of the Salter Townsend estate whose residence is at nearby Castletownsend. A sturdy stone wall is located down the slope and ends almost at the sea. This is known as the "Famine" wall, built during the famine to keep deer within the estate. A coastal lime kiln is to be found right on the sea shore. Quarried lime was brought up the inlet on boats to be burned here.

On arrival at the car park one can look out along the inlet which is over 4 km long to the Atlantic. Along the inlet is a spot called the "Narrows" which is only 50 meters from shore to shore. A trail starts at the car park and goes along just above the sea, passing the lime kiln and the famine wall and on through areas of holly, oak, Silver fir and spruces, open spaces with Ling heather and bracken, over some rock outcrops and cliffs and joins up with another trail near the end of the property which brings one back to the car park. This trail back to the car park dissects an area recently clearfelled and restocked with oaks, ash and Scots pine. These young saplings can be seen pushing their heads up through a dense cover of bracken, bramble and grasses. The entire looped trail is about  3 km long and is graded moderate due to the sea shore walk. Care should be taken while walking along the sea shore and suitable footwear should be worn.

Rineen Features

Archaeological, Picnic Site, Walking Trails, Car Parking,

How do I get there?

From Skibbereen take the R596 towards Castletownsend, travel 4 km and take a left at Castlehaven creamery, travel 3 km to forest entrance on the left.

Get directions to this site


No of car spaces:10
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Contact Info

Contact name:Liam O' Regan
Contact email:liam.oregan@coillte.ie